Tatiana Nikolyeva, piano {live!}

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Lance
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Tatiana Nikolyeva, piano {live!}

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:28 pm

I have long been drawn to the pianism of Russian pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva [1924-1993] who was in the midst of playing Shostakovich's Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 in recital in San Francisco in 1993 when she had a stroke during the performance, continued to the intermission and did not complete her recital. She passed away a couple of weeks later. In the meantime, Nikolayeva has become a cult figure among pianists. Like her mother, a pupil of Aleksander Goldenweiser, she has traveled the world giving concerts from a huge repertoire available to her at almost any time. Her recordings are eagerly sought, many are live, and the largest have been made for Russian Melodiya. She was noted for her beautiful, large tone, exquisite fingerwork, and mental acuity in her performances.

Now comes the British First Hand label with a never-before-released recital given in Greece in 1989 at the Herodes Atticus Odeon. Like most live recitals, they are rarely perfect, with a note dropped here or there, perhaps the piano going a bit out of tune at the top end, but they remain usually electric, almost as if one is there in person applauding with the audience.

This is a most unusual recital comprised of:
* JS Bach: Musical Offering, BWV 1079: Ricercar a 3
* JS Bach: French Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major
* Schumann: Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 (1852 version)
* Ravel: Miroirs: Nos. 2 and 3
* Scriabin: Prelude Nocturne for the Left Hand, Op. 9; Poeme tragique, Op. 34
* Borodin: Petite Suite: #1-In the Monastery
* Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition: #V-Ballet of the Chickens
* Prokofiev: Ten Pieces, Op. 12: #7-Prelude

The sound Nikolayeva evokes from her piano is enormous, especially for an open-air venue. She is reminiscent to these ears of Lazar Berman, and to others, Shura Cherkassky. But I must say, my ears were glued to this recital from beginning to end with music-making that leaves a lasting impression ... that you heard something extraordinary, which this recital is, exactly. One might quibble sometimes with her pedaling, but she knows how to bring the instrument to near orchestral sororities while simultaneously bringing out the subtleties in the music in an exemplary manner. The 12-minute Bach French Suite No. 4 is a classic example of Nikolayeva's notoriety as a Bach specialist (unlike most other Russian pianists), and her performance of the connectivity of Schumann's Symphonic Etudes is musical magic.

Sound restoration is outstanding, and the Greek audience is overjoyed given the applause and request for Nikolayeva's generosity in offering encores. Many photos of the artist are included in the leaflet with excellent notes provided by Jonathan Summers.

Highly recommended.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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arepo
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Re: Tatiana Nikolyeva, piano {live!}

Post by arepo » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:48 am

Lance..

Three weeks before this great artist died in SF, I was fortunate to hear her recital at Haverford College. She performed the Shostakovich 24 Preludes and Fugues and if you closed your eyes and just listened, the pianist could have been a twenty-five year old woman, with no evidence whatever that this was a superb virtuoso a few days from dying.
Her Bach playing was indeed exceptional and un-Russian like.
For those who don't know her artistry, I hope they avail themselves the opportunity to hear your program.
Best regards.
cliftwood

John F
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Re: Tatiana Nikolyeva, piano {live!}

Post by John F » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:00 am

Did you get to her recital of the Shostakovich preludes and fugues at New York's 92nd Street Y, shortly before her death? Apart from the music-making, that was one of the finest audiences for classical music I've ever been in. After the recital she remained in the green room a long time to meet whoever came to meet her.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: Tatiana Nikolyeva, piano {live!}

Post by maestrob » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:31 am

Thanks, Lance, for the tip! I have ordered the CD along with the disc pictured below on Orfeo which looked attractive to me. Nikolyeva's has long been my go-to performance for the Shostakovich cycle, now it's time to hear her in other works.

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Lance
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Re: Tatiana Nikolyeva, piano {live!}

Post by Lance » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:44 pm

You will enjoy both of these recitals. I, too, have the Orfeo, and, indeed, many of their vocal and piano issues. A great label! AND HAPPY EASTER!
maestrob wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:31 am
Thanks, Lance, for the tip! I have ordered the CD along with the disc pictured below on Orfeo which looked attractive to me. Nikolyeva's has long been my go-to performance for the Shostakovich cycle, now it's time to hear her in other works.

Image
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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